W.P. Fraser Herbarium (SASK)
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan
51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada     S7N 5A8
U of S

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Type Specimen Gallery

What is a TYPE SPECIMEN? A botanical name is made up of a Genus + species + naming authority (the person who named it). However, it is not meaningful unless it is fixed to a taxon. A "type" is what fixes a botanical name to a taxon.

A botany "type" is usualy a specimen that is a real plant that is kept safe, or "curated", in an institution like a herbarium.

CLICK HERE to see the W.P. Fraser Herbarium (SASK) Type Specimen Gallery

Some Definitions of Type Specimens:

  • HOLOTYPE: The one specimen or illustration used by the author or designated by the author as the TYPE for the new name.
  • ISOTYPE: Any specimen that is a duplicate of the HOLOTYPE
  • LECTOTYPE: A specimen or illustration designated from the original material as the TYPE if no HOLOTYPE was indicated at the time of publication, or if it is missing, or if it is found to belong to more than one taxon.
  • ISOLECTOTYPE: Any specimen that is a duplicate of a LECTOTYPE
  • SYNTYPE: Any specimen cited in the protologue when no holotype was designated, or any one of two or more specimens simultaneously designated as TYPES
  • PARATYPE: Any specimen cited in the protologue that is neither the HOLOTYPE or an ISOTYPE, nor one of the SYNTYPES
  • NEOTYPE: A specimen or illustration selected to serve as a nomenclatural type as long as all of the material on which the name of the Taxon was based is missing.
  • EPITYPE: A specimen or illustration selected to serve as an interpretive type when the HOLOTYPE, LECTOTYPE or previously designated NEOTYPE, or all original material associated with a validly published name is demonstrably ambiguous and cannot be critically identified for purposes of the precise application of the name of a Taxon.

(definitions borrowed from